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How to help my Husband...

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SeekingABetterMe posted 2/20/2020 15:53 PM

Hikingout - I will go back and address your initial post. He does still reach out and understands that reconnecting will be difficult with us apart, or at least is considering the potential difficulties. He is still willing to open up on occasion, but every time he does I drop the ball and end up minimizing his feelings. I know and accept it is me doing this, I can see it after the fact. I think about it every time and try to avoid doing just that but then I fail at it. I agree I need to hone on myself, i have needed to and if relatively quickly I can make some headway then he may consider living together. The separation is purely to try and help him get some boundaries and sanity. I am in IC about once to twice a month and doing Affair Recovery course. I did not think that it was what I was doing at the time, but I think I was in denial. It makes sense after the fact.

You are absolutely right I am in reactive mode, not proactive mode. I think it is part of what contributes to my hesitation and to be honest complete lack of an answer when he asks what I bring to the relationship, what do I give that makes it worth him staying.
I apologize I know my thoughts are a bit all over the place, I am trying to just respond and not overthink or over prepare an answer. It is what I always do on here and it ends up with me not being authentic.

[This message edited by SeekingABetterMe at 4:07 PM, February 20th (Thursday)]

Zugzwang posted 2/20/2020 16:20 PM

You said you need to do more. You know you need to do more in subjects posters suggested, yet you don't. Why don't you?

What are you doing to build up you? To stop needing validation? To face the shame?

SeekingABetterMe posted 2/20/2020 16:41 PM

Zugzwang- I appreciate your input in this discussion becasue the way you cut to the core of things very much like my husband. He asks that question frequently, I never have a good answer. I always feel like I have no idea what I am doing or need to do. I feel hopeless, etc it's always about me. I am trying to sort out what to do to build myself up. I went for a run today and am working on my course work for affair recovery. Today that is what I plan on doing working all day and then sharing it here and with my BH. But I dont thinknibam really doing anything actively to face the shame or stop the validation. One thing that helped a little with the shame is having to read the story of my affair to the affair recovery group. It made me feel less like a monster.

Edited to add - Looking at where I am and who I am and identifying what I want to be instead and formulating a plan of action is actually this weeks assignment. I am struggling to sort this out right now.

[This message edited by SeekingABetterMe at 4:54 PM, February 20th (Thursday)]

Zugzwang posted 2/21/2020 15:15 PM

Face the shame one point at a time. What do you feel the most shame for? Don't just say the affair, there are a multitude of things that the affair is made up of. Do you think you focus on the past and regret too much? If you focus on that and the what-ifs, then you really aren't working on the here and now and how to be different in the present. Do you understand your whys? Can you figure out the root of those?

As far as the monster thing. IMO we are monsters when cheated. We aren't anymore if you are done with the lies and manipulation. Can you accept you were one, yet you aren't anymore so let that go now? Now, you are just a woman trying to be better one day at a time? What other hobbies can you do to feel good...in a health way that doesn't involve it becoming a validation fest?

SeekingABetterMe posted 2/22/2020 14:56 PM

I think the thing that I am most ashamed of is lying to him. I just remember this the other day, I remember being with the AP one day and him calling just to say hi, I sent him to voicemail. Then called back a little while later acting like I was just busy or something. I donít remember what I said. But I remember looking down at his face on my phone, his smiling face and sending him to voicemail. I remember thinking Iíll call in back in a minute. I feel like dying thinking about it, even now I want to throw up. Runner up to that is failing him now. He reaches out and I can never seem to find a way to support him without spiraling into how bad I feel or how I am going to fix it.
I think I do focus on the past a lot because we have been looking at all the things wrong with our relationship prior to the affair and trying to figure out my whys. I donít really have them figured out. The obvious ones that I was self-centered and selfish.
I go to great lengths - illogical extremes even - to avoid things that are hard. I live my life in the moment from moment to moment with no regard to how it will affect my future or how others might experience my choices.
I manipulate others rather than be authentic, honest, and sincere. I have always been emotionally shut down since my childhood due to seeing anyone express emotion, myself included, mocked and treated badly. There was never anyone validating how you felt, they were seen as that person being dramatic, irrational or people expressed their emotions in manipulative ways.
The affair was pretty much completely sexual in nature. There was very little emotional connection and the AP and I didnít really discuss much outside of that. My BH thinks, and I think I agree, that I was curious to sleep with other people and so when I got the chance I took it. I donít know what else to think, when I think about the affair, it was 99% sexual even though I tried to tell myself it was about validation for me because I would always feel like shit after being with the AP then he would call and give me the validation I needed go back again. My BH said this wasnít validation but assuaging my guilt. I think he could be right.

I agree about being a monster when I cheated, I am done with the lies, there isnít anything left to tell him that I can remember about the affair, my BH doesnít believe me because fo the TT and he says my timeline doesnít make sense. I donít understand why, I know there are some tag hints that I donít remember exactly where they fall on the timeline or the exact dates that we were together. But I have phone records to show when we were in contact the most and when it started. He says that I continue to manipulate. I can see it after when he points it out to me, but in the monument I donít think
I am. I donít want to. I feel like I donít have time for hobbies, when everything is falling apart, when I donít have my whys and when my BH is suffering fo badly. I guess the one thing I keep telling myself hobby wise is to start running. Gives me time to think and helps boost your mood. I think I could do that and not expect any validation from him.

Zugzwang posted 2/23/2020 18:34 PM

and give me the validation I needed go back again
, to you at the time it was validation though...it was a way to get you to give up what the AP wanted...sex. Would you say you used sex as a commodity?

As far as that being thing that bothered you the most right now. Tell him. Apologize. Then figure how to stop compartmentalizing those things you chose to do. Figure out why you took him for granted at that time.

He says that I continue to manipulate.
Maybe it is because you do when he wants to talk or things get hard for him...you internalize it and turn it all about you. He is then left stuck. He can't express his pain without causing you pain that becomes the main focus because you run or shut down.

Niceguy25 posted 2/24/2020 16:00 PM

As the BH, one of the hardest things for me is the laundry list of things she told me about how I failed in our relationship that drove her to her affair. How my failures to recognize her pain and vulnerability, just set her up to fall for someone caring and empathy. So now, when I believe I have ďnot listened, been stubborn or hard headedĒ and try it to apologize for it I am told ďStop apologizing.Ē Feels like Catch 22.

[This message edited by Niceguy25 at 4:59 PM, February 24th (Monday)]

SeekingABetterMe posted 3/5/2020 16:16 PM

Sorry for the long delay in my response. I think it was validation, but my real why runs deeper than just simply validation which I think is the point my BH has been trying to make. I was ready to settle on validation as my why.

Would you say you used sex as a commodity?"

If by this you mean did I give sex to get something else in return, I don't think I did. Although it was all about me. I never invested much in ensuring my BHs enjoyment, while he invested a lot of energy and time into introducing new things and ensuring that it was always good for me. I feel like it was the same with the AP. So in a way I guess like many other things in life my BH investment in our sex life was proof he loved me. It just was never enough, he had to be constantly giving to keep me believing. I needed him to pursue me and him to do everything to fill that need in me. It was never about me filling that need in him.

"Maybe it is because you do when he wants to talk or things get hard for him...you internalize it and turn it all about you. He is then left stuck. He can't express his pain without causing you pain that becomes the main focus because you run or shut down."

I have come to realize the last few days that this is exactly what I do. If he tells me he feels like he doesn't trust me at all, or that he questions if he knows everything about the affair, I get upset and start arguing with him. Telling him that he does know everything, that I have nothing else to hide. It becomes an argument about that instead of how he feels - that he feels like that is never part of the discussion, I tell him he is wrong. His feelings are never addressed.
The other thing he pointed out that I do, is that if I reach out and am rejected, I pull back and tell myself to never do that again. Which has resulted in us having less and less intimacy, physical and emotional. This of course make him question why he is even here, he is getting nothing he wants from our relationship.

He has said recently that he wants amazing and irreplaceable every day from me. He doesn't want date nights, it's just the two of us so every night should be able to be a 'date' night (date night defined as time spent connecting).
He needs to be loved and I have not been doing that. I told him today that I think I understand a part of being a safe partner is putting his needs first because during the affair and our whole life I put mine first. BS always put their WS needs first and they are the ones that don't end up cheating even if their experience of the relationship is worse than the WS.

Zugzwang posted 3/5/2020 16:26 PM

It just was never enough, he had to be constantly giving to keep me believing. I needed him to pursue me and him to do everything to fill that need in me. It was never about me filling that need in him.

Great introspection. This is why we say...it is not about the AP. Why there is not real love...APs are just vending machines. Dispensing our dopamine fix. A drug. Replaceable by anyone willing to jump through the hoops and sit in shit.

His feelings are never addressed.
SO...tell him you understand why he feels that way. That he has every right to question you after what you chose to do to him. Tell him you will earn his trust back. Stop arguing and acknowledge him and listen. Become vulnerable.

Have you two taken the love language test?

RocketRaccoon posted 3/6/2020 00:25 AM


The more you ruminate (and wring your hands) about how to solve your issues, your BH could see it as a delaying tactic, or worse, that you do not really care about saving the M, as you are doing not doing the hard work to try and fix the M.

The above sounds harsh, but it is just a high possibility that your BH may be thinking along these lines.

I can understand a bit on why you are in a 'analysis until paralysis' state at the moment, as you had mentioned that in your earlier days, you only lived for the moment, with no thought of the consequences. Now that you have to think about consequences, it seems that your thought process has gone to the other extreme.... over analysing things until you cannot take action as you are fearful of un-thought of consequences.

The see-saw has dropped the other way.

You need to be able to find a good balance point between the two opposite thought processes. The Bohemian, and the Ultra-conservative Pedant.

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